When We Rise: My Life in the Movement by Cleve JonesThe partial inspiration for the forthcoming ABC television mini-series from Academy Award-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, executive producer Gus Van Sant, and starring Guy Pearce, Mary-Louise Parker, Carrie Preston, and Rachel Griffiths.
Born in 1954, Cleve Jones was among the last generation of gay Americans who grew up wondering if there were others out there like himself. There were. Like thousands of other young people, Jones, nearly penniless, was drawn in the early 1970s to San Francisco, a city electrified by progressive politics and sexual freedom.
Jones found community--in the hotel rooms and ramshackle apartments shared by other young adventurers, in the citys bathhouses and gay bars like The Stud, and in the burgeoning gay district, the Castro, where a New York transplant named Harvey Milk set up a camera shop, began shouting through his bullhorn, and soon became the nations most outspoken gay elected official. With Milks encouragement, Jones dove into politics and found his calling in the movement. When Milk was killed by an assassins bullet in 1978, Jones took up his mentors progressive mantle--only to see the arrival of AIDS transform his life once again.
By turns tender and uproarious--and written entirely in his own words--When We Rise is Jones account of his remarkable life. He chronicles the heartbreak of losing countless friends to AIDS, which very nearly killed him, too; his co-founding of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation during the terrifying early years of the epidemic; his conception of the AIDS Memorial Quilt, the largest community art project in history; the bewitching story of 1970s San Francisco and the magnetic spell it cast for thousands of young gay people and other misfits; and the harrowing, sexy, and sometimes hilarious stories of Cleves passionate relationships with friends and lovers during an era defined by both unprecedented freedom and possibility, and prejudice and violence alike.
When We Rise is not only the story of a hero to the LQBTQ community, but the vibrantly voice memoir of a full and transformative American life--an activist whose work continues today.
Dustin Lance Black Responds To 'When We Rise's Ratings: 'It Will Live Online For A Long Time'
Where do I know him from? Oh, and he also directed that remake of Psycho , but look, everyone makes mistakes. Dustin Lance Black wrote the screenplay for Milk , which he won an Oscar for. He also wrote the screenplay for the Leonardo DiCaprio film J. Alternately, maybe you remember him from the time he tweeted this to Sam Smith when Sam said he was the first openly gay man to win an Oscar.
Meet the Cast
Sign in. No host? No problem. Watch funny moments, inspiring speeches, and more highlights from the Emmy Awards. Watch now. Cleve, a Quaker living at home in Phoenix with his psychologist father and activist mother, decides to wait until he is eighteen to come out to his parents for fear that if he did it earlier that his father, who sees homosexuality as a disease, would use what Cleve considers some extreme form of therapy to "cure" him. Now at an age of majority, Cleve decides move to San Francisco to live in what he hopes is a safer environment than home with his father.